State lawmakers today held a joint session of the Ohio House and Senate to honor military members and their families at the annual Ohio Military Medal of Distinction Ceremony and Wreath Laying at the Ohio Statehouse. This year’s ceremony posthumously honors six servicemen from across Ohio who gave their lives in service of their country. The annual ceremony is held in celebration of Memorial Day and honors the courage, dedication and sacrifice of Ohio’s service members.
“It is a tremendous honor to take part in paying tribute to the brave soldiers who gave their lives defending our freedom,” said Columbus Rep. Hearcel Craig, the top Democratic member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. “This ceremony sends an important message to service members everywhere that we are forever grateful for their valor, courage and service to our state and nation. Elected officials must also use this observance to further our sense of duty to fight for good-paying jobs and access to healthcare services for our returning soldiers.”
The Ohio Military Medal of Distinction was created in 2009 to honor fallen service members killed after Sept. 10, 2001, while fighting in combat zones or engaging in U.S. military operations. Both chambers of the Ohio legislature meet annually to recognize these individuals and their families and to pay tribute to their ultimate sacrifice.
“Throughout our nation’s history of defending freedom and fighting tyranny and injustice, Ohioans have always answered the call to serve their country and state,” said Democratic House Leader Fred Strahorn (D-Dayton). “Their service and sacrifice is a reminder to us all that we owe our brave men and women so much more than what can be offered through a ceremony or special recognition. That is why we must continue fighting for our men and women in uniform to have the opportunity for a better life when they return home. We must heed the call to fully live up to the promise of the American Dream by creating a framework for good-paying jobs and access to a quality education and world-class health care.”
The medal has been awarded to over 200 Ohioans since 2009.